Bank of America and NORD/LB will provide the construction financing, and Huntington National Bank will provide the tax equity financing for the 105 MWdc solar project
BOISE, Idaho, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Clēnera, an Enlight company (TASE: ENLT), is pleased to announce the closing of construction and tax equity financing for the 105 MWdc Apex Solar project located in Beaverhead County, Montana.
The energy generated by the solar facility when the sun is shining will provide NorthWestern Energy's Montana customers with additional carbon-free power through a long-term power purchase agreement, which will contribute to the energy company's sustainability goals. The Renewable Energy Credits generated by the project will be sold separately, providing additional revenues to the project. The Apex Solar project will be among the largest utility-scale solar projects completed in the state to date.
Bank of America, one of the largest global banks in the U.S. and a leader in financing renewable energy projects in the U.S., and NORD/LB, a German bank active in renewable energy financing in Europe and the U.S., will fund the project through a construction loan.
"We are proud to work with Clēnera and our partners to close this construction financing. This transaction demonstrates another important milestone in solar and clean energy development and is an integral part of Bank of America's broader $1.5 trillion sustainable finance commitment by 2030," said Omer Farooq, Managing Director in the Global Sustainable Finance Group at Bank of America.
"We are delighted to partner with Clēnera in financing Apex Solar, the first project that Clēnera will construct in Montana and one of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the state. Clēnera has a robust pipeline of future renewable projects, and we look forward to growing our relationship with them," said Nicolai Dillow, Head of Structured Finance Originations for NORD/LB's New York Branch.
Huntington National Bank, one of the largest U.S. regional banks and a highly experienced lender in sale-leaseback financing, will provide long-term financing via sale and leaseback tax equity financing for Apex Solar following commercial operations. Clēnera's approach to this financing is unique in that the tax benefits and long-term financing will be combined in a single transaction – a practice sought after in the U.S. and in the utility-scale solar industry.
"Huntington is excited to support Clēnera with this unique financing solution for Apex," said Christiaan Bouhuijs, the bank's managing director of renewable energy finance. "Our 25-year lease structure enables Clēnera to recognize up-front value while providing long-term low-cost financing certainty. We also look forward to supporting additional utility-scale projects for Clēnera in the near future."
"These transactions represent Clēnera and Enlight's strategic financing capabilities," said Jason Ellsworth, CEO at Clēnera. "Together with valued partners, we are working to complete 12 GWdc in solar, while further expanding our pipeline and rapidly growing our energy storage business."
"Apex Solar will be one of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the state of Montana, with its construction facilitated by some of the leading financial institutions in the U.S." Nir Yehuda, Enlight's Chief Financial Officer, said. "This project will benefit from competitive spreads and an enhanced return on equity by virtue of these partnerships. It is encouraging to also observe the tailwinds in U.S. renewable energy, fueled by the U.S. government's support."
Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal counsel to Clēnera, and Paragon Energy Capital acted as Clēnera's exclusive tax equity advisor on the transaction. Apex Solar is expected to reach commercial operations in the second quarter of 2023.
About Clēnera: Clenera, LLC ("Clēnera"), a subsidiary of Enlight Renewable Energy, LTD (TASE: ENLT), acquires, develops, builds and manages utility-scale solar farms and energy storage facilities throughout the United States. Combining breakthrough technology with a deeply integrated team approach, Clēnera provides reliable, affordable energy systems and helps its utility partners become clean energy leaders in their communities. Clēnera has developed and constructed over 1.6 GWdc of solar projects and provides long-term management of those projects on behalf of third-party owners. The company is developing approximately 50 large-scale solar projects in various stages of development with an approximate capacity of 12 GWdc, plus 5.5 GWh of energy storage projects. Learn more at www.clenera.com.
About Enlight Renewable Energy: Founded in 2008, Enlight is a leading international company in the, development, financing, construction and operation of renewable energy projects. The company is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange with no controlling shareholder (98% of the Company is held by the public). The company's operations presently span more than 10 countries across three continents – the U.S, Europe and Israel. The company is growing at a fast pace thanks to its diverse operations across the core renewable energy segments in the world: solar energy, wind energy and energy storage, and has a proven track record of developing and bringing projects to fruition and commercial operation. The company's equity currently totals approx. ILS 2.7 billion, and its portfolio of projects across all development stages amounts to more than 17 GW in the production segment and approx. 17 GWh in the storage segment, of which more than 1,000 MW are operational, and some additional 2,800 MW are under construction, pre-construction and/or under signed power sale agreements. For more information, visit https://enlightenergy.co.il.
About Bank of America: Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,000 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 55 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock ( NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, register for email news alerts.
About NORD/LB: Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale ("NORD/LB") is a leader investor in the energy & infrastructure sectors, with an established global renewable franchise, and proven track record as a lead arranger in the U.S. project finance market. NORD/LB is a German Landesbank and one of the largest commercial banks in Continental Europe. It is a public corporation, majority owned by the states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, with head office in Hanover and branches worldwide, including dedicated project finance teams in New York, London and Singapore.
About Huntington: Huntington Bancshares Incorporated ( Nasdaq: HBAN) is a $179 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumers, small and middle–market businesses, corporations, municipalities, and other organizations with a comprehensive suite of banking, payments, wealth management, and risk management products and services. Huntington operates more than 1,000 branches in 11 states, with certain businesses operating in extended geographies. Visit Huntington.com for more information.
Forward Looking Statement
The information detailed in this press release related to anticipated project timelines, future funding and development, and other statements regarding future matters, as detailed above, is "forward-looking" as defined in Section 32A of the Israel Securities Law, 5728-1968, and is only an assessment based on the information, estimates, forecasts and data available to Clēnera's management at the time of the press release, and current management assessments. This information is conditional and subject to the existence of various factors, including the data of the project under development and the general risk factors that characterize the Company's activities. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it is possible that projects under development may not be completed profitably or at all. Accordingly, the aforementioned information may not come to realization or actual results may differ from the information described above.